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Hultgren joins Republican bid for 14th Congressional District
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/28/2009 4:40 PM | Updated: 9/28/2009 4:41 PM

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State Sen. Randy Hultgren joined an increasingly crowded field of Republicans Monday vying to unseat Democrat Bill Foster from his 14th Congressional District seat.

Hultgren's candidacy had been rumored for weeks, but the Winfield Township resident made it official with some choice words for his fellow Republicans.

"I am a proud Republican, but I am not proud of all that took place in Congress under Republican leadership," Hultgren said.

He attacked the spending policies of the Republican Congress under President George W. Bush, and said a large chunk of the increasing national debt was created by his own party.

"Frankly, folks, some of that deficit spending began back when Republicans were in charge of Congress," Hultgren said. "The pork barrel spending, earmarks like the 'Bridge to Nowhere', higher deficits. The list is long."

Hultgren pinpointed several moves afoot in Congress beyond the deficit that have sparked his desire to head to Washington, D.C. Among those Hultgren promised to fight: a climate change bill he believes will harm the energy sector, government-controlled health care, tax increases and the closure of Guantanamo Bay.

But Hultgren will have some more hands to shake within the Republican Party before his road through the GOP primary is paved. He has spent his political career representing constituents mainly in DuPage County, and now seeks office in a congressional district stretching about 150 miles, with areas ranging from the very rural on the far western end to the very urban with communities such as Aurora and Elgin.

Kane County Republican Party Central Committee Chairman Mike Kenyon said Hultgren is relatively unknown in the county.

"I get probably 40 e-mails a day, I've never received one from (Hultgren)," Kenyon said. "Somebody commented to me that he's finally found Kane County. But at least he's got some experience. He's not a bad candidate."

Kenyon's comment reflects the fact that the three other Republican candidates officially in the 14th District race - Ethan Hastert, Mark Vargas and Jeff Danklefsen - have never been elected to any public office.